I missed the morning session during my travels, but arrived in time to here Geoff Surratt deliver a keynote address. Geoff is a pastor at Seacoast Church in South Carolina. Some notable take-aways (Geoff's thoughts in my words)...
- In my first pastorate, I copied everyone. I was Willow Creek one week and then I was Saddleback the next week.
- My first church started with 11 adults. After 2.5 years, the church had grown to 100 people, but I left the church because it was killing me and my family.
- Joined my brother at Seacoast in 1996 when it was 1000 people strong.
- Began to launch campuses in 2002 -- now have 13 campuses with around 13,000 attending.
- I oversee all sizes of campus, from 80 to 5000. Here are some things I've learned.
- The biggest thing that keeps a church from growing is the pastor hanging on to stuff.
- Try this: Write out every single thing you do for your church, and put it in three columns. List the things that only you can do. List the things someone else can do. And finally, list the things no one should be doing.
- I ignored my marriage for the first few years of ministry. My wife packed her bags and said, "I can't do this any more."
- Ministry will fill whatever time you have. It can be 24/7. There is always ministry to be done. You have to walk away. Your family is more important.
- Date your wife once a week. Sneak away once a quarter. Vacation as a family once a year.
- Choose reconciliation over discipline.
- There are communicators and bloggers around the country who are phenomenal personalities. They have an edge to them. They talk pretty aggressively. They say things like, "In my church, when people piss me off, I just tell them to go down the road." I don't think that is biblical. I think it sets most pastors up for failure. Don't look for a way to kick them out, look for a way to reconcile.
I'm blogging on a MacBook Pro, which means I have no idea what I'm doing. I wanted to get this posted, but I'll hop back on later and add hyperlinks. UPDATE: Back on my faithful Dell...all done.